Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has said he is comfortable with being the head coach of the Fighting Irish, compared to a possible move to the NFL. On Friday, Notre Dame made him feel a little bit more comfortable with a six-year contract extension running through the 2021 season.
“In the classroom, in the community and on the playing field, Brian has built the foundation of a great Notre Dame football program–one that reflects this University’s values and its unique relationship to the game of football,” said Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick. “I could not be more excited about the future of our football program under Brian’s leadership, and I am especially thankful that our student-athletes will continue to have the benefit of that leadership in the years to come.”
Kelly was hired by Notre Dame in 2009 after a successful run with the Bearcats ended with three top 25 finishes. Since 2010, Kelly has coached Notre Dame to a 55-23 record with three top 25 finishes, which was highlighted by a 12-0 regular season leading to a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. Notre Dame is 3-3 in postseason bowl games under Kelly.
“I want to thank Father Jenkins (University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.) and the leadership of Notre Dame for their confidence in me,” said Kelly. “I coach football because I believe there are few better avenues for impacting the lives of young men, and I am certain that there is no better place to do that than the University of Notre Dame. During the next six years I look forward to continuing to lead a championship caliber program, but more importantly I look forward to continuing to help the student-athletes I coach to achieve greatness as football players, as students and as men who will make a difference in families, communities and organizations they will someday lead.”
The timing of the contract extension should not go unnoticed either. With National Signing Day coming up next week, being able to let recruits know there is some job security with Kelly in South Bend is always a nice bullet point on the sales pitches.